Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, September 20, 2015
“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.” (Revelation 7:1–3).
Do you realize that God loves you so much that He would never send judgments to the earth without first giving you the opportunity to be safe from them? He is not looking for people to condemn. Otherwise, He could simply get right to it. He is all-powerful. With one thought, He could obliterate the entire earth, with everyone in it. His desire for us, above all things, is that we hear His voice of mercy, and follow His instructions so we can be safe.
Just before the seventh seal is opened with the last of all the cataclysm and commotion of things that precede the Second Coming of Christ, John saw a scene almost like God pressed pause on His judgments. Before He unleashed the winds of strife, hail, fires, lightnings, plagues, and all sorts of destruction, the Lord made certain that those who ultimately chose to surrender to Him in love, would be protected.
This is not a new concept. During the days of Noah, before the flood hit the earth, a message of mercy was preached, and those who responded favorably to His instructions, and were alive at the actual time of the flood, were saved in the ark. When Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, those who followed the angel’s guidance were spared. When God unleashed the plagues upon Egypt and the pharaoh refused to repent, not only were God’s people protected, but when the “big one” came, and the angel of death was about to pass through to kill the first born of all who were not responsive to Him, those who followed God by faith were safe. They went into the homes of safety with the symbolic blood of the lamb marking the doorposts. As long as they remained there as death and destruction were afoot, they were safe. Not one person under the blood was lost. There are many more instances in Scripture where God forewarned the people and gave opportunities to be safe. Therefore, it is little wonder that just before the run up to His Coming, He makes another opportunity available for people to exercise faith in Him and be safe.
In this devotional thought, we will not examine the protective seal of the living God. We will get more into those details when we get to Revelation 13. But, suffice it to say that whatever this mysterious seal is, we really need to have it, if we are going to make it through the incredible final moments revealed under the seventh seal.
God is pleased to give a final call of mercy! Before He is compelled to destroy wickedness due to extreme unrepentance, we all receive every opportunity to respond in favor of mercy. The question is whether or not we will simply accept it and allow God to lead us in the details of our lives. He wants nothing more than to save us from all sin and destruction. Why not cooperate with Him and thank Him for going to all the trouble?
A Prayer for Your Hearts:
Lord, please teach us to give you our companionship instead of running away from you. In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.